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Examples of figurative language in The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Summary:

Examples of figurative language in The Pearl by John Steinbeck include metaphors, similes, and symbolism. Steinbeck uses metaphors to compare Kino's pearl to a "great ulcer" and a "scorpion" to illustrate its destructive nature. Similes like "as perfect as the moon" describe the pearl's allure. Symbolism is prevalent, with the pearl representing both hope and evil.

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Can you provide a metaphor from Chapter 3 of The Pearl by John Steinbeck?

At the end of Chapter 2 of The Pearl, word has spread to other fishermen about Kino's discovery. When Chapter 3 begins, word has spread throughout the town as he's just reaching shore. Chapter 3 opens with a simile. A simile compares two different things using "like" or "as." A simile is a type of metaphor

A town is a thing like a colonial animal. A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. A town is a thing separate from all other towns, so that there are no two towns alike. And a town has a whole emotion. 

Steinbeck describes the town as a living organism. When one part of it is affected, the other parts react. For some of Kino's neighbors, the pearl is a blessing and therefore (albeit mostly for selfish reasons) others (other parts of the town/organism) feel blessed. However, the pearl eventually becomes the object of everyone's dreams and Kino becomes the obstacle to those dreams. Therefore, many regard Kino as an enemy. A few paragraphs into Chapter 3, Steinbeck compares this influx of malicious thoughts to a scorpion bite. Except, in this case, the town poisons itself. 

The poison sacs of the town began to manufacture venom, and the town swelled and puffed with the pressure of it. 

Just as Coyotito was bitten and became sick, the town (a living organism like Coyotito) is bitten by their own greedy infatuation with the pearl. They become sick with selfishness and hateful thoughts towards Kino and his family. The town is "like" a living thing and, in this case, they poison themselves by succumbing to their greed. 

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What simile does the author use to begin chapter 3 of The Pearl?

A simile is a literary device that makes a direct comparison between two different things using the words "like" or "as." At the beginning of chapter 3, Steinbeck utilizes a simile to compare the town outside of Kino's ocean front village to a colonial animal by writing, "A town is a thing like a colonial animal" (11). Steinbeck goes on to personify the town by writing that it has a nervous system, head, shoulders, and feet that enable news to travel faster than little boys can run. A colonial animal is a collective life form comprising of individual organisms that are interconnected. Steinbeck comparing the town to a colonial animal is an accurate description that depicts how the civilians in the town are closely connected and share news. This is evident by the speed in which the news regarding Kino's pearl rapidly spreads throughout the town and allows the corrupt pearl dealers to begin plotting on how to purchase the pearl for much less than it is worth.

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What simile does the author use to begin chapter 3 of The Pearl?

Steinbeck compares the town to an animal in the beginning of chapter 3.

A town is a thing like a colonial animal.  A town has a nervous system and a head and shoulders and feet. …. And a town has a whole emotion. (ch 3)

He uses this comparison to demonstrate how news travels quickly in a town, and how the town itself seems to have its own momentum.  It is almost living and breathing on its own.  The town itself is more than the sum of its parts.  This is why the news of the pearl and Kino’s baby’s bite travels so fast.

Steinbeck describes the news also as moving on its own. It seems to move faster than people can tell it, because news travels fast in small towns when there is something important going on.

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What is a metaphor in chapter 5 of The Pearl by John Steinbeck?

In John Steinbeck’s story The Pearl, it is the precious stone itself that serves a parable for the greed and avarice that naturally accompany the discovery and revelation of sudden wealth in the hands of desperately poor people.  Kino and his wife Juana hope to use the proceeds from the sale of the pearl they found to both secure financial resources needed to have their infant son Coyotito treated for his sickness from the scorpion bit, and to elevate their social status among their community.  Whether this constitutes greed or simply a determined effort at helping his family find a better life is worthy of debate, but The Pearl clearly is intended to act as warning against avarice and greed.  Since finding the pearl, Kino becomes entangled in a number of menacing confrontations and, very soon, his previously peaceable nature becomes supplanted by a more threatening, defensive posture that merely wants to preserve the pearl until it can be sold.  It is one such confrontation where Steinbeck employs a metaphor to describe the descent of his protagonist from peaceable, happy father into angry, defenseless and ultimately murderous protector of the pearl.  It is in Chapter Five where one finds Steinbeck’s use of a metaphor in comparing Kino’s canoe, which had originally belonged to his grandfather and, consequently, holds a personal and spiritual value that transcends its otherwise questionable condition.  Reflecting on his having killed one of the men who had intended to rob  him of the pearl, Kino subsequently notes the condition of the canoe, through the hull of which somebody had poked a sizable hole:

“The killing of a man was not so evil as the killing of a boat. For a boat does not have sons, and a boat cannot protect itself, and a wounded boat does not heal. There was sorrow in Kino's rage, but this last thing had tightened him beyond breaking. He was an animal now, for hiding, for attacking, and he lived only to preserve himself and his family.”

Kino has become that which he has previously eschewed: a violent murderous member of the lowest echelon of society.  He has incorporated the pearl into his very being, protecting and revering at the expense of his values and worth as a human being.  As Steinbeck’s protagonist notes following the egregious acts that have taken place in the interest of possessing this valuable deposit of calcium carbonate formed from the shell of a mollusk, a crustacean, a bottom-feeder: "This pearl has become my soul," said Kino. "If I give it up I shall lose my soul. Go thou also with God."

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What is a metaphor in chapter 5 of The Pearl by John Steinbeck?

An example of a metaphor from Chapter 5 of The Pearl can be found in this line: "He was an animal now, for hiding, for attacking, and he lived only to preserve himself and his family." This is on page 62 of my copy, a Penguin book paperback edition.
The comparison is, of course, between the man (Kino) and a wild animal.

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